Drew Barrymore is headlining this new Netflix horror-comedy series called “Santa Clarita Diet” and while I wouldn’t normally plug a tv show on this blog, I figure she was probably filming this a few weeks or months before the NYC marathon time frame and that’s just cool from an I’m-not-going-to-namedrop-too-much-more-about-actresses-i-met-in-central-park-really-honestly perspective. The show caught my eye in the sense that Netflix pushed it into my face enough times that I watched the pre-release trailer, and so because I’ve recently gained a newfound respect for my now-fav actress I gave the show an above average shot… and it’s actually pretty funny. I mean, it’s crude and there is excessive gore, but it’s a weird comedy suburban family take on a light zombie crossover thing. I don’t even know how to describe it. But I did watch three episodes back-to-back. Karin just hid her eyes from the blood spatter.
June 14 – Something You Are Watching
aka. Post 14 of Those 30 Posts in June Blog-Every-Day Posts
If you’d asked me a year ago where I got most of my screen-based entertainment, I still might have told you that we watched a lot of cable television.
It may not have been live TV. More and more often we had recorded a from a narrow set of shows that we liked, kept up, binge watched four or five episodes over a weekend. Then less of that. Then less of cable.
And now, I’m sitting on my couch looking at the cable box which has sat there, neglected and ignored, displaying the glowing green digits “208” for at least a month– and I can’t tell you the last time I flipped the video feed over to see what is coming in over that co-ax line for which I pay so much.
We’ve been watching mostly streaming video. Netflix & YouTube. I’ll put on some Twitch if I’m really just looking for some background noise. But cable? I think Karin may have watch curling when it was on a while ago… she likes that… that’s about the only reason we keep the cable, after all.
I guess it might be time to once again reconsider cutting.
I feel like I need to mention that one of the (very few) positive side effects of being mildly (but not quite destructively) sick for most of January was that it gave me an excuse to sit prone in front of the television most evenings (all in the name of cooperating with the mucous-based intelligence that had taken over 47% of my cranium). As a result, I was able to find the many, many, many hours necessary to finish binge-watching all nine seasons of The Office, front to back, fully and completely, concluding last night with the finale. There is something to be said about enjoying a show over the span of nine years, letting it quietly become part of the background noise of your life, growing and changing with characters and watching their story play out in a believable timeframe. There is also something to be said about watching (about) 75 hours of that same show compressed into the timeframe of about 7 weeks and let those same characters become your only source of passive entertainment, filling your mind, heart, and dreams, and causing you to view the world through their perspective. Whatever can be said about that is probably not very positive, though. Now, can anyone recommend a good detox program(me)?
Claire and I snuggled up on the couch tonight to watch some Netflix, and after some indecision we ended up viewing the classic Ghostbusters. First, I’ll just say that (mostly thanks to Mr. Murray, I think) the flick had a lot more innuendo than I remember. You tend to notice it a bit more when you’ve got an eight year old giving you a cautious “uh oh” glance every time someone says “oh, shit” on screen. Second, we’ve officially entered the “how did they do that?” phase (is that a phase?) where she tries to explain how virtually every special effect or prop worked (yes, pretty much everything!) as it appeared on screen. “Dad, they’re not really drinking alcohol there because by the time they were done making that part they’d be very sick.” Or, “Dad she’s not really flying because there are probably strings.” Or, “Dad you can tell that was made in a computer (I didn’t correct her) because a real creature wouldn’t walk like that.” Fortunately, I made the rule prior to watching the new Star Wars the other night that she wasn’t allowed to talk during the show in the theatre. She did anyhow. But thanks to this evening’s screening (and “Who ya gonna call” sing-along) I now know what talking during a movie can really mean.
The Twenty-First Century Child’s Rebellion: Find the most annoying show available on Netflix and then binge-watch it on a Sunday morning while their parents are trying to sleep in.
a mash-up of television & cooperation
A number of years ago we were one of those families who helped decide what television shows lived or died. Sure, it was just one little vote in a vast sea opinions. But each night we’d plug our little electronic monitors into their phone-terminals and they would transmit our day’s watching habits back to the ratings mother-ship to be added to the collection of metrics.
We stopped participating because it was a hassle. Yet, it occurs to me again that not only would my participation in such an ongoing data gathering exercise be virtually worthless, but also that the time we spend watching our screens today is gathering that exact data (and likely so much more) without the need to wear a little electronic gadget on my belt.
It has probably occurred to nearly everyone who subscribes to streaming media services (such as Netflix) that someone or something cares about what we watch. My role in this process is little more than that of a consumer –or perhaps, a data point– yet I think it would be naive to assume that the metrics that I leave in my wake from what I watch, when I watch, and the exact point when I stop watching whatever it was I was watching, that these data are ignored by the corporation serving me that content.
I’ve been watching a lot of stand-up comedy on Netflix.
I hate to admit to binge watching, but over the course of Friday and Saturday I binge-watched the first season of House of Cards. Political paranoia ensues…?
So last night: Netflix + #HIMYMfinale … I actually like how it ended. #controversial?
What posts in June? Oh, thooooose thirty posts in June… again. It seems that for the fourth year in a row I’ve climbed aboard the daily blogging train and continued that monumental, multi-year writing effort to string a topic or idea across the vast reaches of years. Each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be:
June 14th // Something You Are Watching
The thing I’m finding, after being a Netflix subscriber for what seems like a couple years now, is that you almost inevitably become a “binge-watcher” of television shows.
For example, after visiting New York in November, we went through a “How I met Your Mother” phase, grinding through the first eight seasons in about a month and a half after the trip.I try to mix it up, but my recently-watched queue, to be perfectly honest, has only about four titles in it right now. And one of those I’m technically not allowed to watch on my own because Karin and I have been watching that together for the last month: “Once Upon a Time”
The premise is oddly complex: there is the alternate fairy tale universe thing, there is the overlap of Disney-esque characters made real with (presumably) our reality, (sometimes inconsistent) use of magic with a thread of morality woven through and all of it spun around a good versus evil soap-opera-like blend of modern and emotionally jarring television fantasy. It took them roughly the entire first season to really explain what the heck was going on.
The nice thing about Netflix binge watching, I’ve gotta add, is that after having contemplated watching this show for a couple years (and never quite getting around to it, despite the fact we had most of the first two seasons on our PVR for a while) is that there is none of that pesky waiting a week between episodes. Cliffhanger? Sure, we can stay up for an extra 45 minutes to see how that turns out.
The alternate, bad side: just like the aforementioned “How I Met Your Mother” for which we still haven’t watched the (apparently controversial) final season (because it’s not on Netflix) I’ve already noted that “Once Upon a Time” is hobbled at just two seasons right now in my queue. We’re drawing out our watching hoping for that elusive “we’ve added another season of ______” email from Netflix, but if we run out of episodes before that happens, I guess we’ll be looking for another binge candidate. Or maybe just reading a book…
Once more it is June. Again. And again I embark upon that epic effort of daily blogging, take three, wherein I call upon myself for a kind of rambling focus, picking from a list of daily topics, and with neither planning nor advance writing, strive to pepper this blog with the free-thought, free-writing wonder that is another one of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be:
June 14th // Something You Are Watching
As much as I almost hate to admit it, Karin and I have found ourselves sitting on the couch many nights frequently –usually after a tough day of work and life, tired from the office, or soccer practice, or a long run– and flipping into some old sitcoms from the nineties.
Our recent favourite, a series we opted to watch after enjoying reading his book “Familyhood” is the Paul Reiser-Helen Hunt comedy, Mad About You.
Is watching old goofy stuff still cool, or am I officially weird yet?
So, it’s been about two and a half weeks since I broke down and did an early upgrade on my phone, landing myself with a very slick — and now orange-be-cased — Samsung Galaxy Note. The early infatuation-crush is still lingering, but I can sense the practicality and predictability that comes with any long-term tech relationship starting to settle into a comfortable rhythm. As such, I thought I would make some notes on my Note, and share some of the interesting, clever little tricks I’ve discovered and adapted to fulfill my functionality potential with this particular device.
1. On Watching Vids…
We’ve been with Netflix for about a year and a half now, and we are quite happy with the service. It didn’t take much to get the app up and running on my account and over our home wifi. Perhaps it is simply an temproary bias, but having a six-inch screen with headphoned-audio has been awesome for the last week or so. While our televsion has been tuned by Karin to pretty much permanently show the Olympics coverage, I’ve been plugged into something more my speed and style — namely old scifi and sitcoms on Netflix — without being excessively obvious or obtrusive. One ear for the show, and one for being more social.
2. On Reading Audio Books…
I’ve subscribed to Audible for about three years now, so it almost goes without saying that I have a fairly epic audiobook collection. On of the first apps I installed was the Audible app, a self-contained player that tracks my listening and manages my audiobooks. I was impressed using this on past phones, iPhone included, but the Android version has two advantages, (1) in the form of a widget that lets me control my listening without actually re-loading the app, and (2) in that the player controls are actually usable with human-sized fingers (because I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating Apple’s audio control scheme is for an audiobook, where one off-pixel click can flick you back to the start of a six-hour track when you were only trying to pause and leave you struggling in frustration to remember where you’d last heard, scrubbing through said track while walking down a busy street.)
3. On Consuming Podcasts…
I’m a bit of a fickle podcast listener, and one of the things that I never did get settled to my satisfaction was the automation of podcast retrieval on my previous phones. The thing is, in order for podcasting to be a truly seamless medium, the cast should be a single click away: in that I simply mean, if I need to think about downloading it before I download it, then fine — but I’ll probably give it a miss if only because by the time I realize I want to listen to it I’m off in no-wifi land and I’m not going to eat up a double-digit percentage of my meager mobile data limit on a podcast file. I’ve been using a (paid-for) app for a couple weeks called Beyond Pod. It not only lets me subscribe to podcasts right inside the device, but I’ve refined the download schedule so that it only downloads when I’m on wifi, plugged in, and at night. This means most every morning I wake up with fresh casts. Very cool.